We’re Cooking: Crème Brulee

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Though some think the task of creating creamy, dreamy, rich, and sweet crème brulee may be very daunting, but in reality, the sweet treat isn’t terribly difficult to prepare, it just takes a little time. And, when cooking for a dinner party or gathering, your guests will be delighted and impressed, as it is always delicious. We add a few balsamic strawberries to ours, or top with a dusting of shaved chocolate, whipped cream, and shortbread wafers.

Serve with a fruity, well-rounded, highly effervescent Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore DOCG from Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, like Le Colture Cartizze. #Cheers

Recipe:

Crème Brulee
Makes enough for 12
Ingredients
12 egg yolks
4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 fresh vanilla bean
Raw or vanilla sugar for dusting

Preparation
Preheat oven to 300.  Whisk egg yolks together in a bowl and set aside.  In saucepan cook 2 cups cream, sugar and salt together until it reaches 155 degrees and remove from heat. Whisk in 2 additional cups cream to the mixture until combined.  Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Go slow to ensure you don’t scramble the eggs.  Whisk in vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean.  Pour mixture into twelve 4 oz ramekins and place in a large pan lined with a kitchen towel.  Place in an oven preheated to 300 and slowly add enough hot water to reach 3/4 of the way up the ramekin.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until the custard is set.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 3 hours to chill.  When ready to serve dust each custard with vanilla or raw sugar.  To create the brulee you can either flame each one with a small blow torch or place under the broiler.  If you use the broiler keep a close eye on them, it will only take 30 seconds or so to create the brulee. They should be golden brown on top.  Serve with shaved dark chocolate on top and balsamic strawberries.

Balsamic Strawberries
Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, chopped
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Preparation
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except basil and stir until the sugar melts into the vinegar.  Make these at least 2 hours in advance of serving and continue to stir every 10 or 20 minutes.  The longer they sit the more concentrated they get.  Serve with fresh basil for a garnish on top.  The basil adds a hint of brightness.  Great with the creamy brulee.

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